My mother-in-law died last week. She’d single-handedly raised two sons on a social worker’s salary after the love of her life, her husband, died with metastatic melanoma. After her sons left home, she stayed alone on the farm in the middle of nowhere. When she turned 73 and felt the swell of grandmotherly love in her chest, she moved to the city to help raise her first set of grandkids, now ...

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"Z" and "S" were both hesitant skeptics from the start. Earlier this year, they’d signed up for an entrepreneurial class I taught. Z was a first-year medical student with a dream of having millions. S was his blonde-haired, model-type wife; ex-ballerina-come-cancer-survivor who wanted to help people with similar experiences. Before the course, she’d contemplated taking out even more debt in student loans so she could go into physical therapy.  After the course, ...

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There’s stress written all over their faces. Poised in that precarious time of life, transitioning between the teenage freedom years and the responsibilities of adulthood, those six first-year medical students look anguished. Their collective eyebrows knit together. I’ve given them a challenging homework assignment: “Write a 500 to 1,000 word essay and read it to the class next week.” “I’ve got a question,” J says. “You told us to write an essay about ...

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I find myself standing in front of six first-year medical students. They’re waiting for me to tell them something about how to become a physician entrepreneur. These students are now elite amongst their peers. They’re the ones who’ve had the courage to sign up for my course. And, perhaps unbeknownst to themselves, they’re also among the 1 percent of early adopters to lead the way for health care change. How do I ...

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shutterstock_143110750 “So this is Christmas, and what have you done?” John Lennon sang from my nightstand, waking me out of a deep slumber. Bleary-eyed, I pondered his question: What have I been doing all year? A decade ago, my conversations with my younger brother, went something like this: “Do anything but medicine for God’s sake, save your soul, man!” He’s now an emergency room doc. ...

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One of the most subtle deceptions hidden inside the cracks of our sick care system is the lie told to doctors: that health is our primary goal for our patients. I began to understand this paradox clearly when I listened to my friend’s anguish. She’s been working as a full-time medical assistant in a busy nephrology practice, supporting two sometimes three full-time sub-specialty doctors. The practice is located in a small town ...

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Next year will be a landmark year for America. Since our Great Recession and its far-reaching effects on the economy, housing markets, jobs, relationships, personal savings, spreading wealth, increasing poverty, divided politics and collapsing health care system, America seems to be purging a lot of karma. Doctors play a huge role, allowing themselves to become puppets pulled by the purse strings of politicians, conglomerates and a divided country gone wild. As we ...

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It’s no secret that America is suffering from a huge crisis in healthcare. As we watch the sun rise on Obamacare, doctors, patients, insurance executives, hospitals, small businesses and legislators alike stand agape. No one seems to have found a simple, logical solution. The solution is in fact very simple. It’s so ridiculously simple, it might make one laugh. And, believe it or not, it’s also amazingly cheap. But because of its ...

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A few years ago, I sat in a coding lecture for urgent care providers given by a very entrepreneurial physician assistant. An emergency room doctor, who had recently established his own private clinic, put up his hand to ask a question. He seemed puzzled. “I can see your point about coding at a higher level for a sore throat when I was younger,” he said. “I used to take longer to ...

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A few years ago my best friend ran the Boston Marathon. She came back glowing, proud that she’d qualified, amazed by the crowds and energized by the feeling of community. Never once did she think that she could have died from a bomb exploding at the finish line. America seems to be facing tragedy after tragedy. From the Aurora shootings, to Sandy Hook Elementary, to the Boston Marathon bombings, each time ...

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